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Game #38: Miami Heat (28-9) vs. Milwaukee Bucks (13-20)

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Around this time every year the AAA and its surrounding property is taken over by lions, tigers, elephants, clowns and everything else under the big top.  It's time for the circus to come to South Florida, which means it's time for the Heat to hit the road for a little while.  It will be exactly two weeks in between home games for ‘The Heatles' who, regardless of where they go, always seem to be playing in front of a packed house. 

The first stop on their most recent tour is Milwaukee, where the Heat has already won once this season.  These two teams played against each other on Tuesday night at the AAA where the Bucks kept pace with high-powered Heat for 2½ quarters before Miami turned up the D and eventually pulled away.  Even so, Milwaukee is not a team to be taken lightly; we are all aware of their ‘giant killer' ability. 

We have yet to see a game this year where the Heat ‘took a night off' and played uninspired basketball.  Night in and night out these players are pushing each other.  Every game is another opportunity to get better and prepare themselves for the playoffs.  It doesn't matter if they are at home or away; every game brings the same focus and intensity.

Tonight the Heat will put their 11-game road winning streak on the line and begin what could be a historic road trip.  The NBA record for consecutive road victories is 16, set by the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers, and Miami can tie that record if they can pull off a 5-0 road trip.   I'm not sure if anybody out there is expecting the Heat to pull this off, but if they continue to play the way they have been...its very possible.

The Heat's streak began on December 2nd when LeBron James made his return to Cleveland and if Miami can break the record they will do it on January 27th in New York against the Knicks.  Those two buildings are probably full of the fans that dislike LeBron the most, so its pretty fitting that they could bookend the Miami's potential historic streak.  

GAME NOTES

  • 21 times this season Dwyane Wade has scored at least 25 points, with the Heat winning 19 of those 21 games. 
  • The Bucks have lost 4 of their last 5 games, failing to shoot above 40% in all of the defeats. 
  • On the season, Milwaukee is 9-2 when they shoot at least 45%.  On the games they shoot below that, they are just 4-18. 
  • Over their last 5 games the Heat are averaging 108.4 points on 49.7% shooting.
  • In the 10 road games since the Heat won in Milwaukee, Dwyane Wade is averaging 29.2 points per game while LeBron is averaging 28.5.
  • Bucks guard John Salmons has been a consistent source of points for Milwaukee, scoring in double digits in 9 straight games and 13 of his last 15. 
  • LeBron James' next blocked shot will be the 500th of his career.  Dwyane Wade is right behind him, needing 5 more blocks to get to 500. 
  • The injury lists are pretty much the same from Tuesday.  Udonis Haslem (foot) remains out for the Heat, though he has said he's targeting a "late March" return.
  • For Milwaukee, Brandon Jennings (foot), Michael Redd (knee) and Carlos Delfino (concussion) are out.  Drew Gooden (foot) is listed as day-to-day but will miss at least two more games according to the Bucks. 

Tipoff from the Bradley Center is set for 8:30.  If you haven't already...be sure to vote on our latest Coach Approval poll.  Let's go Heat!!